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Dorchester County  

Blackwater 
Natural habitats and history beckon from Dorchester

 

Like most places on the Eastern Shore, water and history are easy to find in Dorchester County. English settlers came to the area in the early 17th century and named the county for Sir Edward Sackville, the Earl of Dorset and friend of the Calvert family.

Cambridge, a port town established in 1684 and the county seat, has numerous historic homes, structures and museums with agricultural, maritime, industrial and Native American exhibits. The Brannock Marritime Museum, for instance, showcases Maryland’s “Oyster Navy” and Chesapeake Bay history.

Outside of Cambridge, the Dorchester Heritage Museum has exhibits on aviation, archaeology and local history. The Richardson Museum spotlights the Bay's long heritage of wooden boat building. Near Cambridge, you’ll find Maryland’s only existing post windmill and the Spocott Windmill, which still grinds flour on special occasions. To complete a picture of a former era, next to the windmill, you’ll see the Tenant House, the 1868 Schoolhouse and the General Store.

Harriet Tubman was an enslaved woman, born in Dorchester County in 1820. She fled to the North and became a "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, the passageway that helped slaves escape to freedom. Today, you can see a marker at her birthplace and then visit The Underground Railroad: Harriet Tubman Museum and Gift Shop in Cambridge.

Twelve miles from Cambridge is the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, a notable nesting and feeding area for wild geese, osprey, swans, owls, muskrats, rare Delmarva fox squirrels and bald eagles. The 27,000 acre refuge is sometimes called "The Everglades of the North."

Visit the Dorchester county web site.

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DATE: 09/03/2014
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